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Every venue has its pros and cons depending on the kind of event you have planned. You’ll have the usual hotel ballrooms, meeting rooms and hotel poolside venues. Other options could be sports arenas, convention centres, stadiums, clubs, restaurants or art galleries to name a few.
Choosing an appropriate venue is one of the key decisions you will make as it sets the tone for the rest of the event. So yes, it’s a huge decision and following these guidelines will help you make a choice that’s right for your event and your budget.
7. Natural Light: for day time events (of course) especially meetings, ensure that the venue has natural daylight since we as a species do not do well in drab, dark spaces. Natural daylight helps people stay ‘awake’ and involved rather than feeling sleepy and bored. Artificial lighting does not provide the same feeling.
8. AV and Tech: most, if not all events make use of some kind of audio-visual equipment and checking that the venue has state-of-the-art equipment is very important. Your event may require a sound system, projector, screen or specialised lighting. Ideally the venue should also have an in-house team to help with connections or fix issues should they arise. The more types of equipment the venue has, the better it is since it will also help to reduce the cost of having to separately rent AV or tech equipment!
9. Minimum Charge: some venues may charge for a minimum number regardless of actual attendees so if you anticipate 120 to show up but only 110 do, the venue may still charge you for 120. It is important to know if there is a minimum guaranteed as you would have to budget keeping that in mind.
10. Wheelchair Accessible: in most cases, venues such as hotels will have handicap accessible facilities however when considering other types of venues, check to ensure that access is either present or can be provided.
11. Redesign: again depending on the type of event, you may need one large open space or you may need the ability to break up a space into smaller areas. Pursuant to your specific events requirements, ensure the venue is able to provide redesign or reconfiguration options.
12. Branding: check that there are places where your branding can take pride of place and set the tone for the event. Having spots where your event specific branding can be displayed is of paramount importance and not having to spend additional to create trusses or billboards would once again help to keep costs in check.
13. Green: we all want to be part of the movement helping to reduce, reuse, recycle, replenish and restore for our planet. Verify if the venue has a ‘green’ certification or if it does its part in reducing waste, recycling paper, plastic, aluminium cans and glass. Collaborate with the venue to find ways to reduce food waste at your event.
14. Force Majeure: ask if the venue contract includes a Force Majeure clause. In case any unfortunate natural or manmade catastrophe does occur close to your event date, you would be able to cancel without having to pay any penalty.
Final Thoughts: go ahead and be adventurous in your venue selection but always make sure it ticks the majority, if not all the boxes of what your event is meant to convey along with keeping costs in check. It may be a time-consuming process to settle on an appropriate venue however if you make the right decision, it will not only cut the number of vendors you may have to deal with but will end up saving you loads of money.